Though often associated with a negative stigma, filing for bankruptcy is often a wise decision for people trying to regain control of their financial situation and take steps toward a better financial future. One of the challenges of filing for bankruptcy is creating a plan to pay for the legal fees and bankruptcy lawyers recommended for filing.

When you file for bankruptcy, you have to pay a filing fee, which varies by state but is usually a few hundred dollars. Additionally, it is highly advised to hire an experienced professional such as an affordable bankruptcy lawyer or a bankruptcy preparer. While a bankruptcy preparer is significantly more affordable, they will not be able to offer any legal advice regarding your situation and you may miss out on a financially beneficial opportunity.

How can I find the money for a bankruptcy lawyer?

On the other hand, bankruptcy lawyers are typically more expensive but can offer you filing options and payment plans that may result in significant cost savings or a more financially sound future. Schottler & Associates offers a 6-month repayment plan to their bankruptcy clients. 

A calculator on a red wood desk with piles of paperwork in bankruptcy lawyers' firm

But how does someone afford a bankruptcy attorney when they are piled in debt? Since bankruptcy wipes clean all dischargeable debts, all filing and attorney fees must be paid off prior to the completion of the filing process.

One of the best suggestions for people facing a bankruptcy filing is to use their tax refund money to pay off their fees. January through April are the busiest months for bankruptcy due to this method of payment. Another method, although not always recommended, is to stop paying off dischargeable debts, such as credit card debt since they will soon be discharged. Then, you can take the money that you would normally spend on your credit card payments, and put it towards your bankruptcy payments so that you can get back on your feet.

How do I find an affordable bankruptcy lawyer?

A sound step to finding a bankruptcy lawyer that is affordable is to ask for suggestions at your local bankruptcy court. The court clerks often have guidance for affordable lawyers, and may even find a bankruptcy lawyer who will work pro-bono for you, though generally, your income would have to be significantly below the poverty line to qualify for the latter.

Another suggestion is to work out a payment plan with your affordable bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy lawyers are experienced with helping people who are struggling financially and will often offer you a six-month or three-month payment plan to pay off your attorney fees.

Why hiring bankruptcy lawyers is a smart move

While it may sound intimidating to add another expense to your life, bankruptcy lawyers are considered investments as they can restructure your debts, accept calls from creditors, and help protect your assets. While some people may opt for a legal preparer, bankruptcy lawyers can offer legal advice and have more experience with the legal nuances of the law, often resulting in significantly more cost savings. 
If you are facing a bankruptcy filing in Chicago, contact our offices today at Schottler Law to understand how we can help you take back control of your financial situation. Mark Schottler of Schottler Law has the experience and resources that you need to protect your financial assets and future. We offer free 30 minute consultations and 6 month repayment plans.

Mark Schottler is a Chicagoland attorney with over 20 years of experience working both in probate and estate planning law and in real estate law. He puts his extensive knowledge on these subjects into easily consumable articles that will help and advise the public. Mark Schottler has a passion for probate and uses this to create relevant articles that are informative and entertaining. *While these posts may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.